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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly new to cycling in general. Probably a story you've heard many times but I haven't been on a bike much since I turned 16 and that was 14 years ago. I bought a hybrid bike this summer and the bug has bit me... hard. I just ordered my first road bike and am beyond excited for it to get here!

I'm also a huge reader and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for books on cycling? Fiction, non-fiction, books about bike maintenance, whatever. I know there's a ton of books on the topic and I'm looking for help sorting out the gems.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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turnin&burnin said:
I'm also a huge reader and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for books on cycling? Fiction, non-fiction, books about bike maintenance, whatever. I know there's a ton of books on the topic and I'm looking for help sorting out the gems.
Literary:
  • The Rider, by Tim Krabbe. A fantastic book about a bicycle race. The very best.
  • Need for the Bike, by Paul Fournel. Not for everyone, but it it catches your fancy, it's fantastic. Impressionistic chapters describing different aspects of the author's obsession with bicycles throughout his life.
Nonfiction:
  • Bobke II, by Bob Roll. Hillarious, historical. A must-read.
  • A Dog with a Hat, by Joe Parkin. Memoir of racing in Belgium in the late 80s/early 90s. Very nicely written.
  • Anything by Samuel Abt. New York Times reporter. One of the better writers on European pro cycling.
Technical:
  • Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, by Lennard Zinn. The best bike repair/maintenance book. Period.
  • Bicycling Science, by David Gordon Wilson. Only for total bike nerds. If you like equations and general geekitude, this is for you.
  • Effective Cycling, by John Forester. A traffic engineer's view of how to ride safely in traffic and how traffic laws and road engineering should change to accommodate bicycles.
  • Bicycling and the Law, by Bob Mionske. A cyclist's companion to the law: know your rights and how to defend and assert them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just finished The Rider actually. Fantastic book and that's what prompted the original post. I'll be visiting my local book store to see if I can find some of the other shortly. Thanks for the info!
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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turnin&burnin said:
I just finished The Rider actually. Fantastic book and that's what prompted the original post. I'll be visiting my local book store to see if I can find some of the other shortly. Thanks for the info!
I'd also recommend, Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer, by Andrew Ritchie. Major Taylor was a black bicycle racer in the 1890s through 1910 and one of the first black athletes to become a world champion in any sport.

This biography tells his story well---his athletic triumphs and his struggles against racial discrimination as well as his misfortunes later in life.
 

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Misfit Toy
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Llamas and Empanadas, if you can find it.
 

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One add to Fredke's excellent selection: Bernard Hinault and Claude Genzling, "Road Racing, Technique and Training." Genzling waxes eloquent, as the French are fond of doing, on the experience, as well as tricks in training, and bike fit.

And another, "Cycle Sport," by Peter Konopka, MD, has the best explanation I've read of the physiology of cycling, relating it to bike fit and training.
 

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Other than The Rider, my top three are Bikesnob, Need for the Bike by Fournel and Half-wheel Hell by Hershon. If you read German, anything by Juergen Loehle beats them all.
 

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"Tales From the Bike Shop", by Maynard Hershon.
"Hearts of Lions: The Story of American Bicycle Racing", by Peter Nye
 

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Lance Armstrong's War. Skip It's Not About The Bike.
The Misunderstood World Of Roadies
Most of the suggestions posted by above posters.
 

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"Flying Scotsman" by Graeme O'Bree. Former world champion and world record holder for the hour. His rise to success, and how he suffered from manic depression and attempted suicide, twice.

"Downhill" by Marla Streb. A interesting biography of a successful mountain bike downhiller. She writes well and is as intelligent as much as she is a gifted athlete.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Lance Armstrong's War. Skip It's Not About The Bike.
The Misunderstood World Of Roadies
Most of the suggestions posted by above posters.
Yup- "Roadie: The Misunderstood World Of A Bike Racer" is hilarious! A short easy read, but a blast.
Less than $15 on amazon.
 

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Bicycle: The History by David Herlihy, detailed history of the bicycle.
Blazing Saddles by Matt Rendell a year by year history of the TdF

I just picked up Herlihy's new book, The Lost Cyclist, about the disappearance of Frank Lenz during his Around-The-World bike ride in the 1880s.
So far it's a good read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow... I've got quite the list to get me started. Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! Being in Michigan I'm going to have some very cold months in the not too distant future to work my way through them. Should help get me through till spring when I'll be able to get out riding again. I need to move someplace warm.
 

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Greg LeMond's Complete Book of Bicycling, by LeMond and Kent Gordis. Really great book on bike fit and training, plus you have LeMond's inside account of his feud with Hinault during the '86 Tour de France. Great read, only flaw is that the section on equipment is outdated. It's out of print, but readily available used.

I'd also second Fred's suggestion of the Hinault & Claude Genzling book. That's a good'un too. :yesnod:
.
 

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My favorite bike reads:

The Rider- Without a doubt, the classic road cycling book.
10 Points- Bill Strickland's brutal biography, with some bike racing thrown in there
Heft on Wheels- Fat guy loses a bunch of weight by riding. Good read.
Bike Snob- He hits more than he misses.
A Dog in a Hat- American races in Belgium.
Come and Gone- American returns from Belgium and races mountain bikes.

I have a whole library of other books on cycling (fiction and non-fiction), but these are my favorites that I'll re-read from time to time.
 
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